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Article

Expanding the Search for Sperm Transmission Elements in the Mitochondrial Genomes of Bivalve Mollusks

1
Department of Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6, Canada
2
Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
3
Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
4
Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanologie, Aix-Marseille University, 13288 Marseille, France
5
Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée Infection, 19-21 Boulevard Jean Moulin, 13005 Marseille, France
6
Département de Sciences Biologiques, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Antonio Figueras
Genes 2021, 12(8), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081211
Received: 25 June 2021 / Revised: 30 July 2021 / Accepted: 3 August 2021 / Published: 5 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleotide Sequences and Genome Organization)
Doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in bivalve mollusks is one of the most notable departures from the paradigm of strict maternal inheritance of mtDNA among metazoans. Recently, work on the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis suggested that a nucleotide motif in the control region of this species, known as the sperm transmission element (STE), helps protect male-transmitted mitochondria from destruction during spermatogenesis. Subsequent studies found similar, yet divergent, STE motifs in other marine mussels. Here, we extend the in silico search for mtDNA signatures resembling known STEs. This search is carried out for the large unassigned regions of 157 complete mitochondrial genomes from within the Mytiloida, Veneroida, Unionoida, and Ostreoida bivalve orders. Based on a sliding window approach, we present evidence that there are additional putative STE signatures in the large unassigned regions of several marine clams and freshwater mussels with DUI. We discuss the implications of this finding for interpreting the origin of doubly uniparental inheritance in ancestral bivalve mollusks, as well as potential future in vitro and in silico studies that could further refine our understanding of the early evolution of this unusual system of mtDNA inheritance. View Full-Text
Keywords: mitochondrial DNA inheritance; sperm transmission elements; bivalves; DUI mitochondrial DNA inheritance; sperm transmission elements; bivalves; DUI
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stewart, D.T.; Robicheau, B.M.; Youssef, N.; Garrido-Ramos, M.A.; Chase, E.E.; Breton, S. Expanding the Search for Sperm Transmission Elements in the Mitochondrial Genomes of Bivalve Mollusks. Genes 2021, 12, 1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081211

AMA Style

Stewart DT, Robicheau BM, Youssef N, Garrido-Ramos MA, Chase EE, Breton S. Expanding the Search for Sperm Transmission Elements in the Mitochondrial Genomes of Bivalve Mollusks. Genes. 2021; 12(8):1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081211

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stewart, Donald T., Brent M. Robicheau, Noor Youssef, Manuel A. Garrido-Ramos, Emily E. Chase, and Sophie Breton. 2021. "Expanding the Search for Sperm Transmission Elements in the Mitochondrial Genomes of Bivalve Mollusks" Genes 12, no. 8: 1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081211

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